Research in the Kelleher Lab is broadly aimed understanding the role of diet, genetics and environmental factors on maternal and infant health. Our work has long been focused on understanding the role and regulation of zinc transport on mammary gland development and function during lactation. More recently, we have begun to explore the role and regulation of zinc transport in gastrointestinal development and function during infancy. To do so, we utilize cultured cells and transgenic mouse models, combined with studies in breastfeeding women and infants, that integrate nutrition with genetics, cell biology, and physiology to address the following two fundamental questions:
How does maternal diet, genetics and environmental exposures affect mammary gland function, milk composition and volume?
How does infant diet, genetics, and environmental exposures affect gastrointestinal development, microbiome expansion, and infant health?